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Shaw's discovery did not become generally known until published in Blackwood, in April, 1841 ; however, having let up the fish, I looked for produce (according to the old opinion) in 1840, but was disappointed : 1840 was a very bad year, so was 1841 ; but in June, 1842,

was greeted with a run of salmon peal, unlike anything I had ever before seen. The new Act had not then passed, and the small.mesh net was in use, consequently these salmon, which averaged about five pounds each, were alinost all captured ; in number, with me, they exceeded four-fold that of any other year ; and taking into account the sea fishing at Poolbeg, which is carried on by a great number of persons, the increase was altogether, to the best of my belief, ten-fold upon any previous year, for the last twenty years, as various adverse parties can testify as well as myself; but the number was not by any means, in my judgment, so remarkable, as the extraordinary differ. ence in the size and quality of the fish. These peal were all what salmon-fishers call “well fed” fish, which term has a particular signification, well known to sportsmen and salmon fishers; sufice it to say, they were in appearance, colour, and size as unlike the peal of former years as can well be conceived. This I account for by the parent fish, (those of 1839,) having reached the spawuing beds in good time, and in full vigour ; and I conceive that the complaint made in all the rivers in Ireland, that the fish have degenerated in size and quality, is solely attributable to late fishing. The August fish are all killed, and in September and October good spawners become scarce, and they reach the spawning beds, which are at the upper parts of rivers, (many obstacles intervening,) in a jaded and weakly state, and too late for early spawning. From this experiment, broadly defined as it is, I am entitled to say that the Fisheries of Ireland will rapidly increase in value, and the fish in size and quality, if salmon fishing be stopped upon the 1st of August or thereabouts. The close season shoulil then consist of five full months; and I should say, (if a general close time, the same for all rivers and all localities be decided upon by the Commissioners,) that a close season commencing 10th or 12th August, and ending the 10th or 12th January, would best amalgamate conflicting interests, best suit various local. ities, and, above all, would best tend to the improvement of the fisheries, and to the public advantage.

The curious narration which we proceed to quote, evidencing the rapacity of the seal tribe, will be read with interest.

In a letter recently published by me, which has been observed upon, I mentioned the capture of a large seal which was taken in the chamber of a bag-net set in the Bay of Dublini. The seal in question was the larger seal, and was captured in a very unusual way, having become entangled in the net, in forcing his way through the small door, or entrance of the chamber ; and had he not been captured just at the time he became so entangled, he would, I have little doubt, have escaped by forcing his passage through, as it is a very common occurrence to find a tised net much torn and damaged, without being able satisfactorily to assign the cause.

For various

reasons it is very difficult to capture these animals; but the depredations they commit upon the salmon, when enclosed in the fixed net, are truly distressing, in an economic point of view: distinct statistics on this head can never be supplied; but it has been calculated, that seals and porpoises devour more than ten times the number captured by nets. It has always been my opinion that the smaller seal (the Phoca vitulina) is by far, of the seal tribe, the most destructive of the salmon. This seal is not larger than a spaniel. The door of the bag-net is eight inches wide, but about seven feet in height, and with but very slight effort, this seal can go in at the door, and come out with a salmon in his paws ; nor can it be doubted that this animal resorts regularly to the fixed net for his supply of food. That he is not frequently captured is no more remarkable than that a rat should not be caught in a trap, if the door remained open ; but I have seen on numersus occasions, too many salmon in the chamber of the net, having fresh wounds upon them, to leave any doubt on my mind that a seal had been a recent visitor there. I need scarcely mention, that the salmon is prevented coming out of the, or fixed net, by a peculiar instinct, although the door remains open.

The necessity for Parliainentary interference to protect our salmon fisheries receives sufficient illustration in the statements which we now insert.

In a former letter I mentioned incidentally the insufficiency of the present Act of Parliament for the protection of the gravelin ; that little fish is now ascertained to be the young of the salmon; it is not protected by the Act, by reason of a technical error in the words used, which I formerly detailed, and the injurious effect of the omission must be self-evident. It is now proved not merely that the gravelin is the young of the salmon, but circunstances also of the most curious nature relative to that little fish are asserted, which it would not be suitable to advert to more particularly here, but which are stated at length in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 14. The destruction of gravelin in the interior of the country is carried on I may say without any restraint ; in the great mills near large towns, improper practices are not often permitted, but in the petty mills in remote districts the destruction of yravelin is enormous. It has occurred to me to prosecute under the following circumstances :- In a petty mill, a trap was found, constructed at the waste gate of the mill, and capable of taking a barrel of gravelins in a single night; I came upon the engine myself, and on the trial at the ensuing Petty Sessions, the first witness was a contumacious miller, who for some cause had been discharged from the mill, where, with five others, he had been dieted, (a custom in country mills.) He stated on his oath, that a large boiler of gravelins was put down each day, and that he was discharged from his einployment because he complained of getting nothing but fish; or, in the miller's own words "it was gravelins for dinner, and gra. velins for supper, and I could stand it no longer,"

It is with pain that we feel the propriety of selecting a closing extract, which cannot but create melancholy reflections ; however, it may also call into existence worthy resolves and energetic actions, and if so, adversity will not be without its benefit. If sad facts like the following, literally staring us in the face, do not bring us to our senses, then nothing will :

In conclusion, it may be observed that the answers received, afford ample evidence of the depressed state of the Salmon-fisheries throughout the country. During the present year some of the largest fisheries have been surrendered, and in districts where public rights of fishery were largely exercised, great destitution has been caused. Both public and private rights have fallen before the Act of 1842, and both are now in a state of complete prostration. In the Waterford district alone, 1,120 families have been deprived of their livelihood the number of cotmen in that district in 1842, being 1,200, and the registered number during the season just ter. minated being 80. Similar results have taken place in other districts, and the aggregate presents a sad spectacle of destitution, caused by the mismanagement of the fisheries, combined with effects resulting from an improvident and inequitable law, passed without due consideration or notice, and without the aid or information of practical persons.

It is quite evident that all that is wanting to restore our fisheries to their former prosperous condition is a good law properly administered, and there can be little doubt that, if the matter were worked with befitting energy, such an act could be obtained. It is an enigma quite beyond our comprehension how, while the path lies plainly marked out before us, we refuse to tread it, though we know that by following it a most desirable object will be accomplished; and it seems as though that necromantic power which the peasantry of Donegal believe has spell-bound a band of warriors and their steeds in a cave on the side of one of their grey mountains, also extended its dire influence over the energies and practical attributes of the whole people of the country. Mr. Worthington has shewn us with much ability and judgment, both what is required for the improvement of our fisheries, and how we are to obtain the means to accomplish it, and if we will neither profit by his advice, or take the trouble of thinking for ourselves upon a subject fraught with so much interest to Ireland, we do not deserve the sympathy and support of others. If we prefer the “dolce far niente” to an energetic course, an nnworthy determination to let others do our business for us, instead of a proper confidence in our own exertions, we will

assuredly reap the bitter fruit of our supiness and neglect, in this case as well as in every other ; verifying the words of a young and gifted Irishman, that they who leave everything to chance," are incompetent to act, irresolute to decide, and powerless to achieve." Union and energy are our wants, and though the expression is a trite one it is not on that account less worthy of our consideration; if there is any one thing which ought to make us ashamed of its utterance, it is this, that having heard it until its sound is “ familiar in our ears as Household Words, we have profited so little by the lesson which it inculcates. Would to Heaven that even now we would take advantage of the precept, its adoption would certainly result in the prosperity of Ireland and in the happiness of its people.




The Petition of the several Valuators, Superintendents, Surveyors, Draftsmen, and Clerks, in the service of the General Valuation and Survey of Rateable Property in Ireland, to His Excellency the Right Honorable the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Lieutenant General, and General Governor of Ireland, &c., &c.

Never have we taken up our pen with greater pleasure to further a cause, claiming as it does, the support and advocacy of every right-minded and impartial contemporary, than we now do while devoting our pages to that important social question of the Administrative Reform Department, the General Valuation of Ireland.

In a former number of the Irish QUARTERLY Review, was published a paper on this branch of the Civil Service, and though we do not agree with the writer on many points therein expressed, yet we fully concur with him in that part of the article setting forth the grievances of the employés of this establishment, grievances most painful in their nature, and proved to be so beyond all matter of doubt, by facts narrated in the petition to the Lord Lieutenant early in the present year. Considering that we can best serve the cause of these officers by reprinting the petition, we do so, and at the same time we earnestly hope that the prayers of the petitioners may meet that attention from the Legislature to which they are justly entitled.

To His Excellency the Right Honorable the Earl of Carlisle,
Lord Lieutenant General, and General Governor of Ireland,
8c., &c.
The Petition of the several VALUATORS, SUPERINTENDENTS,

SURVEYORS, DRAFTSMEN, and CLERKS, in the service of the
General Valuation and Survey of Rateable Property in


That the General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, commonly known as the Townland Valuation, was commenced

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